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Governor Walker, State Leaders Celebrate Success of Wisconsin Cheese Industry

Urban Milwaukee

“Now that cheese is the official dairy product of Wisconsin, it’s only fitting that we visit some of the more than 140 cheese producers in the state to acknowledge their role in keeping Wisconsin a world leader in the industry,” Governor Walker said. “The state’s 1,200 licensed cheesemakers work hard every day to produce more than 600 varieties of cheese that are sold around the world, and Wisconsin Cheese Day is a chance for us to celebrate their successes.”

The companies that are part of the tour and the state officials taking part are:

  • Great Lakes Cheese Inc., La Crosse – DATCP Secretary Brancel, WEDC Deputy Secretary Braun.
  • Masters Gallery Foods, Plymouth – WEDC Secretary Hogan, DATCP Deputy Secretary Lyon.
  • Rosewood Dairy, Algoma – WEDC Secretary Hogan, DATCP Deputy Secretary Lyon.
  • Westby Cooperative Creamery, Westby – DATCP Secretary Brancel, WEDC Deputy Secretary Braun.
  • Biery Cheese Co., Plover – WEDC VP of Business and Community Development Barb LaMue and Norm Monsen, DATCP Agriculture Market Development Specialist.
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Water Quality Concerns in Portage County

WSAW

The high phosphorus levels are from nutrients that runoff from farmer’s fertilized soil, when rainfall gets too heavy leading the phosphorus into other bodies of water.

“It’s not doing the farmers any good, they paid for it, it’s bought and paid for fertilizer, and their crops can’t make use of it. It doesn’t do any good to the lakes folks because their lakes turn green,” Ken Schroeder of the Portage County UW Extension said.

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Dairy Summit tackles industry issues

Wisconsin State Farmer

The summit drew several hundred people to the Alliant Energy Center on June 19. It was sponsored by Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Wisconsin Farm Bureau and UW-Extension.

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Cropp Expects Better Days Ahead for Dairy Farm Prices

Wisconsin Ag Connection

As Dr. Bob Cropp predicted about a month ago, it appears that April will be the low-point for farm-paid milk prices this year. In his monthly Dairy Situation and Outlook report, the professor emeritus with the University of Wisconsin-Extension says the May Class III milk price rose to $15.57, and June could end the month nearly a dollar higher. He also predicted that milk prices will continue to increase and peak out in October or November.

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Weathering the Emerald Ash Borer storm in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Farmer

“Larval tunnels of the emerald ash borer disrupts the flow of water and nutrients, and ultimately kills the tree.”
– PJ Liesch/University of Wisconsin-Extension.
A long-term plan may be to develop varieties of ash trees that are resistant to attack by the emerald ash borer.

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Brancel asks WI farmers to help North Dakota neighbors

Wisconsin State Farmer

“Wisconsin farmers have always had big hearts, and this is one more way they can help out their neighbors, even neighbors who are two states away,” Brancel said.

He heads the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Brancel noted that some Wisconsin farmers experienced heavy alfalfa losses to winterkill this year.

“You might even find someone right here who needs help,” he said.

The University of Wisconsin Extension operates a farmer-to-farmer website at farmertofarmer.uwex.edu to connect farmers with hay to buy or sell.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring reached out to Brancel Thursday, asking for help to spread the word about his state’s need.

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Farmer to Farmer Website Continues to Aid with Feed Needs

Wisconsin Ag Connection

The University of Wisconsin-Extension is reminding potential buyers and sellers of quality feed products that the Internet provides a great venue to do business. Extension agents say the Farmer to Farmer website serves as an excellent resource to look for hay, high moisture corn, corn silage, or straw.

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Marshfield Wastewater Treatment Facility makes $48 change saving $140,000 a year

WSAW

Not long ago, he had a dream to become more sustainable in the treatment of wastewater. Originally designed as a chemical treatment plant in 2000, Warp challenged his staff to come up with a way to make his dream a reality.

“If you were a rate-payer in Marshfield, we save $140,000 a year by doing it naturally verses adding the chemicals…” explained Warp, “and it cost me $48 at a local hardware store for the guys to pick up some nuts and bolts to bolt on the wears and that was it.”

He went on to say the facility now puts out about five times less phosphorus than it did a year ago.

“What we did now is we actually changed it so we run in two separate ditches and under different conditions and we actually let the naturally occurring bacteria take the phosphorus out and remove the nitrogen,” he explained.

“It’s a major nutrient for the plant, but at the same time it’s also a nutrient for microbes,” Robert Florence, UW-Extension soil and forage analysis lab director described, adding that while phosphorus is good for plants, too much harms the water.

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Portage-area agriculture experts to travel to Tanzania

Portage Daily Register

Five Extension officials and a northeast Columbia County farmer will work, in teams of two, to train officials of Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture in the “soft skills” of showing farmers how to inaugurate agricultural operations to grow soybeans and rice for export to Asia.

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Researchers Watching Apple Crop for Devastating Stink Bug

Door County Pulse

Researchers in Door County are keeping a close eye on the spread of the brown marmorated stinkbug, which has wreaked havoc on crops throughout the northeastern United States.

Anne Deutsch, agriculture agent with the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Sturgeon Bay, has been trapping for the bugs in Door County the last two years. Last November she asked residents to bring in samples of bugs they thought could be the brown marmorated stinkbug. She received several samples, but none turned out to be the brown marmorated.

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